Mark and I met in 2004 on a missions trip to South Dakota with our church's youth group - a trip neither of us had planned or initially wanted to go on - but God had other plans for us. I had just finished my freshman year of high school and Mark his sophomore year. We became friends almost instantly and as our friendship grew over the years so did our attraction and admiration for each other. I can honestly say I knew I wanted to marry Mark when I was 16. Mark, on the other hand, was much better at hiding his feelings and I always questioned how he felt about me. I later learned that he purposely tried to hide his feelings in order to respect my parents rules and protect my heart as his sister in Christ. Because of God's leading in our lives and through the protection of our parents, we stayed "just friends" until my first year of college. We did this because we believe it is best to wait until you're ready to consider marriage before entering a romantic relationship.
Even though we didn't date, we did get to spend a few high school proms together as friends along side groups of friends. : )
One of my favorite pieces of Mark and I's relationship is the way God worked in our lives during this time of uncertainty. Neither of us knew what would be coming next and we had no choice but to lay down all of our hopes and dreams over to the One who had placed those dreams inside of us both. There, from the place of surrender, God began to slowly restore our friendship...
In the spring of 2008 we found ourselves taking a college Economics class together. I was beginning to find myself falling for the same Mark that I had always loved but I was getting a little frustrated wondering if we would only ever "just be friends" or if he was feeling the same way about me that I was about him. I later learned he had been praying about our relationship for the past several years and even more over the recent months and was finally feeling God giving him the okay to pursue me. That March he asked my dad permission to begin a relationship with me with the intentions of getting married one day because I was the only girl he had ever wanted to marry.
|The night of our engagement: June 18th, 2011.|
|Praying together on our wedding day before the ceremony.|